From September 7 to 9, the Seventh EurBee Congress of Apidology was held in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Participants from over 50 countries attended the scientific event that was organized on behalf of the European Association for Bee Research (EURBEE) in the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine from Cluj-Napoca, located in the center of Transylvania.
“The EurBee Congress provides a good indication of the trends in bee research. Therefore it is always very useful for us to attend the event,” says Peter Trodtfeld, Bee Health Expert at the Bayer Bee Care Center in Monheim, Germany. This year’s program showed a clear focus on nutrition, genomics, and also bee pathology and diseases, “areas that we also target within our Bee Care Program”, Trodtfeld explains.
“Our Healthy Hive pillar, for example, focuses specifically on research activities aimed at finding solutions for pests and diseases and on good hive management of honey bees. For instance, we have an ongoing collaboration with Professor Moritz at the Martin-Luther University in Halle-Wittenberg, studying the role of different genotypes and genetic constitutions of the Varroa mite that are associated with the resistance to synthetic varroacides.”
Finding new ways to manage the parasite mite Varroa destructor is also one of the objectives of our Healthy Hive activities. “At the EurBee too, we have seen that the impact or control of the Varroa destructor remains a key research interest,” Trodtfeld continues. Promising results for using diluted lithium chloride to manage Varroa mite populations were for example presented by Bettina Ziegelmann from the Apiculture State Institute at the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart. "While the efficacy of the product appears impressive, further studies will need to be done to investigate the potential impact of the toxicity of lithium chloride on the bees and humans,” Peter Trodtfeld points out. “Our own experience has taught us that varroacide products are simply not that easy to develop”.
Pollinator health is challenged by many factors in the modern world. Partnering with leading experts all over the world, for example, scientists from the Fraunhofer Chile Research Foundation or Professor Freitas from the Federal University of Ceará in Brazil, Bayer is working on scientific projects to attain a better understanding of factors affecting pollinator health and to find ways to sustain this.
“Conferences like EurBee are an ideal place for us to forge our ties with the scientific community. They allow us to learn about the latest scientific trends and to exchange with fellow researchers on a broad range of topics relating to bee health, nutrition and pollinator science, including our own research projects”, says Dr Christian Maus, Global Pollinator Safety Manager at Bayer CropScience. “Bees are an essential part of sustainable agriculture, and pollinator health is a shared responsibly, which must be collectively tackled.” The Bayer Bee Care Program contributes to improving bee health by sharing its expertise and collaborating with partners on projects for ecology, honey bee health and pollination.